UX Basics Cheat Sheet

The #1 question I get from people is, “how can I get a job in user experience (UX)?” The #2 question I get asked is, what is UX? A quick google search can usually answer the second question. I’ve explained it is as a cross between psychology and design science with a focus on empathy. I’m not the greatest resource for intro-level questions, so I usually point folks to this one UX blog that can help get started in UX if you decide that it is something you are interested in.

For those of you who are already in the field or who have an understanding of the field, I’ve got a primer. Tipsheet 1 will focus on UX career paths and Methods. Enjoy!

UX Career Paths

Design job positions in the UX area include:

  • UX Designer
  • User Interface Designer
  • Information Architect
  • Producer
  • User Interface Engineer
  • Visual Designer
  • UI Designer
  • UI Artist
  • Digital Designer


Research job positions in the UX area include:

  • UX Researcher
  • Data Scientist
  • UX Program Manager
  • Usability Researcher / Specialist / Analyst / Engineer


Business Strategy job positions in the UX area include:

  • UX Strategist
  • UX Architect
  • UX Product Manager
  • UX Analyst


Folks who are a little more technical (*cough* coders) or into hardware fans may be interested in UX positions like:

  • UX/UI Engineer
  • UX/UI Developer
  • Experience Designer
  • Interaction Designer
  • Prototyper
  • Human Factors Engineer
  • Product Designer


Many of the positions above change in seniority by adding these terms before the position title:

  • Senior
  • Associate
  • Lead
  • Principle
  • Manager (after position title)


My writers…what’s up:

  • Content Strategist
  • UX Copywriter


Review LinkedIn

I recommend that people take a look at look at career paths of UXers on LinkedIn, including my LinkedIn, to get an idea of paths that can be taken into the career.


UX Resume

Make sure your resume is neat, clear, and strong. Spruce up your resume with action words. Your resume must also show a link to an online portfolio that showcases your methods. Your resume may be overlooked for actual positions because of a lack of keywords around UX methods and/or measurable, quantifiable achievements. Below is a list of words that get me excited when reviewing UX resumes.


UX Methods Basics:

(You should at minimum not flinch when you hear the following.)

  • Usability Testing
  • Survey Design and Implementation
  • Heuristic Evaluation
  • Contextual Inquiry
  • Wireframing
  • Remote User Testing
  • Personas and Scenario Development
  • Diary Studies
  • HiFi, LoFi, and Paper prototyping (UI/UX Conceptual Mocks)
  • Mobile & Tablet Rapid Prototyping
  • Mobile Interaction Design
  • Card sorting
  • Competitive Evaluation
  • Comparative Analysis
  • Benchmarking
  • A/B Testing
  • Think-Aloud Protocol
  • Focus Group
  • Interaction Design
  • Accessibility & Compliance Research
  • Usability Research
  • Information Architecture
  • Tree Testing
  • User Flows/Journeys


Nice to haves

  • Project Management
  • Social Computing
  • Affinity Diagram
  • Sketching
  • Storyboarding
  • Ethnographic Interviewing
  • Data or Information Visualization
  • Agile UX Lifecycle
  • Agile User Stories
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Site Maps
  • Website Analytics
  • Website Development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Visual Design
  • Multimedia Design
  • Product Development
  • Design Strategy
  • Design Research
  • Information flow process (Redesign)
  • Mobile UX Strategy
  • Responsive Design
  • Usability Research & Analytics
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Design of Complex Web Sites
  • Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation
  • Graphic Design


Ooooh, you fancy…Additions but not Necessary

  • Capacity Building
  • Data Manipulation
  • Recommendation Systems
  • Reputation Systems
  • Consolidated models (Artifact model, Culture model, Cultural assessment, Communication flow aka “workflow” or “flow model”, Physical model, Sequence model, Swimming lane diagram, etc.)
  • eCommunities
  • Human Interaction in Information Retrieval
  • Information-Seeking BehaviorEnd-to-End Experience Management
  • Digital Transformation Leadership
  • Omni-channel Strategy
  • Creative Direction
  • Business Development & Pursuits
  • Customer Success Management
  • Ecommerce Strategy
  • Digital Product Development
  • UX ROI Measurement
  • Cloud/RIA/SOA/SaaS/PaaS//Web 3.0
  • Budgeting and Financial Planning
  • Mentoring & People Development
  • Digital Channel Roadmap
  • UX Value Prop & Offerings
  • Digital Asset Development
  • Global Project Delivery
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Customer Journey Maps
  • E/M-Commerence
  • Presentation Layer Development
  • Digital Content Strategy: Social, SEO
  • UX Copy Writing
  • Editing & Curation
  • Content Strategy
  • Branding Psychology
  • Process Engineering
  • Industrial Design
  • Database Application Design
  • Fundamentals of Human Behavior
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Personal Informatics Design
  • Pervasive Interaction Design
  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Content Management Systems
  • Database Application Design
  • User-Generated Content
  • Social Interaction Experience
  • Project and Social Computing Design
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Mobile Interaction Design Process Modeling
  • Statistical Methods for Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Cognition in Interaction Design
  • Social Media Literacies
  • Web Applications
  • Interactive Art / Performance Design
  • Cognition in Interaction Design

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About Nancy Douyon

I educate leaders in tech around the globe in user experience methodologies, culture-themed designs planning and implementation of user goals in products, and personal career management.

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